Portland Cello Project | The Thao & Justin Power (Kill Rock Stars)

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cd_portland-cello.jpgThe new album features the band's contemporary classical songs, some containing lyrics, some not.







When hearing the name Portland Cello Project, clearly one thinks of an orchestra. But this band is not just an orchestra, it is an indie orchestra. The Portland Cello project is a cello ensemble that takes the classic sound of strings and gives it a little something extra. The cellos play classical pieces by famous composers, but add an edgy beat, making the music unique.

The new album The Thao & Justin Power features the band's contemporary classical songs, some containing lyrics, some not. Either way, the album is strong both lyrically and compositionally. The lyrics are soothing and gentle. On the non-lyrical tracks, the strings really take over and empower the track. The players use various techniques, like slapping the strings, to create variation within the cellos. On the song "Mouth for War," the cellos create a rock-type beat just by utilizing the instrument differently, thus yielding different noises.

The acoustic-sounding ensemble also plays various types of music. While some of their songs are acoustic, indie and rock, "Por Una Cabeza" is a traditional Latino-sounding song. Clearly, the ensemble is eclectic and enjoys playing a variety of genres. On their new album The Thao & Justin Power, the spunky "indie orchestra" really demonstrates the wide array of music they enjoy playing purely through cellos. | Shelley Kaur

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